Belongings of missing boater found along N.C. coast, water rescue team says

The search for a missing 23-year-old boater is stretching up the North Carolina coast, where some of his belongings have been found, according to a water rescue
Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 11:01 AM EST|Updated: Feb. 1, 2023 at 6:03 PM EST
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – The search for a missing 22-year-old boater is stretching up the North Carolina coast, where some of his belongings have been found, according to a water rescue agency.

Ocean Isle Assistant Police Chief Mac Warner confirmed that his department, the Ocean Isle Fire Department and the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office are helping in the search. He said that around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, there was a possible sighting called of the missing boater near Ocean Isle Beach, but it turned out not to be him.

Warner said Ocean Isle Fire Department and the Brunswick Sheriff’s Office have their boats out in the Ocean Isle Beach area, while officers and firefighters are on the ground “looking for any evidence or signs of a body.” The sheriff’s office is also using aerial equipment to search for the missing boater, according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

The Oak Island Water Rescue team also posted it is helping search in the Lockwoods Folly Inlet and Oak Island for the boater. The agency also stated that items belonging to the 22-year-old were found off the coast of Brunswick County, but did not indicate exactly what was found.

Oak Island Water Rescue Chief Pete Grendze said when his team saw the news on social media about the missing boater, six volunteers went out to help.

“We knew that if we could help, maybe find this individual, it might get closure to the family, one way or another that way they’re not wondering what is going on,” said Grendze.


Greg Lucas with SCDNR added that Horry County Fire Rescue boats are on the water searching for the 22-year-old using sonar scanners.

SCDNR is also out on the water and using aerial equipment to continue the search that is now stretching into its 6th day.

Last Thursday, rescue crews were called out to the north jetties in the North Myrtle Beach area, where the Intracoastal Waterway meets the Atlantic Ocean, for a call about a jon boat taking on water. One person was rescued from the boat.

The missing boater’s name has not been officially released yet. It’s station policy to not release names unless it comes from an official or the family. We are respecting the family’s privacy at this time.

*EDITOR’S NOTE: The U.S. Coast Guard originally said the boater’s age was 23 years old. SCDNR has confirmed that the boater is 22 years old. We have updated the story to reflect the proper age.